• Mon. May 27th, 2024

Thames Valley Police Chief Constable John Campbell announces retirement


Aug 31, 2022

The search for Thames Valley Police’s new chief constable will start tomorrow.

John Campbell, who took on the top job in 2018, has announced his retirement at the end of his five-year term on March 31 next year.

He said: “After four years in the post, over 13 years within the force and more than 35 years in the policing, I have decided it is the right time for me to retire.

“Making this announcement now allows plenty of time for a smooth transition to the new chief constable in the spring. I remain fully committed to leading the force over the next seven months.”

Mr Campbell’s time in the job has not been without its challenges. In 2019, traffic officer PC Andrew Harper was killed trying to apprehend a group of youths towing a stolen quad bike. More than 800 people attended his funeral at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford.

The following year, Khairi Saadallah stabbed three men to death in a terror attack at Reading park Forbury Gardens.

When the pandemic struck in 2020, Thames Valley was the force responsible for buying personal protective equipment for police forces England-wide.

Looking back on his time in office, the senior police officer said: “It has been an honour serving the communities of the Thames Valley, and I am immensely proud of the officers, staff and volunteers who work around the clock, every single day, to keep our communities safe.”

Mr Campbell joined West Midlands Police in 1988, serving as a uniformed officer and a detective in Birmingham, before moving to Hampshire Constabulary in 2001. He joined Thames Valley Police in 2010.

He was – and remains – the National Police Chiefs' Council's lead for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear policing when suspected Russian agents used nerve agent Novichok to poison former KGB intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in Salisbury in 2018.

Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Barber, who will oversee the process to appoint a new chief constable, paid tribute to Mr Campbell.

“I have very much enjoyed working with John and am proud of what he has achieved for the force and I will be sorry to see him leave,” he said.

“John will continue to lead the force over the next seven months and ensure the force continues to work tirelessly to protect our communities across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.”

The search for Mr Campbell's replacement will begin tomorrow, September 1. The new chief constable will be in post from April 1 next year.

Read more from this author

This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward